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For Prospective Students

Why We're Different

Faculty-led programs in Asia, Europe, and Latin America

Mentored research opportunities on campus and abroad

Language houses, with native speakers serving as in-residence fellows

Small classes taught by faculty who are native or near-native speakers

Our Modern Languages & Literatures students explore language, film, literature, material culture, and social practices as critical means of cultural production and expression. Our program offers eight language areas of study. You can begin a new language, or attain fluency in a language you have already studied.

Courses and Degree Programs

Our wide range of courses and topic areas provide a deeper understanding of cross-cultural perspectives, increase your ability to act as a citizen of the world, and expand the range of professional opportunities open to you. Visit the Undergraduate Catalog (linked in the right column in the box below) for the complete list of Modern Languages courses.

Programs Major
Minor Catalog

Arabic Studies


Chinese Studies


French and Francophone Studies


German Studies


Hispanic Studies


Italian Studies


Japanese Studies


Russian Language and Literature



The breadth of our faculty research interests provides a range of research opportunities for students, including study-abroad research programs. Student-faculty collaborations can lead to joint scholarly publications in academic journals, the subtitling of international independent films, and briefing books with the National Security Archive. Students have also contributed to ongoing investigations of immigrant communities here and abroad. 

Student Activities

Many majors choose to live in one of the eight special-interest Language Houses on campus, where they learn more about the language, people, and culture and live with others who share the same interests. Many W&M student organizations focus on global cultures and languages.


Our students go on to graduate school and to international and domestic careers in nonprofit and government work, law, international relations, and academia. With their broad exposure to our global society, our alumni are poised for leadership in the twenty-first century.

Talk to Us

Want to know more? Our current students and faculty want to connect with you.

  • Get an inside look by contacting a current Modern Languages & Literature major:
  • Ask a professor:
    • Arabic Studies: contact [[jceise, Professor John Eisele]]
    • Chinese Studies: contact [[mghill, Professor Michael Hill]]
    • French & Francophone Studies: contact [[mfleru, Professor Michael Leruth]]
    • German Studies: contact [[rsleve, Professor Robert Leventhal]]
    • Hispanic Studies: contact [[jlterukina, Professor Jorge Terukina]]
    • Italian Studies: contact [[mjseger, Professor Monica Seger]]
    • Japanese Studies: contact [[tsasaki, Professor Tomoyuki Sasaki]]
    • Russian Studies: contact [[axprok, Professor Alexander Prokhorov]]
More About W&M

{{youtube:medium:center|O42rEkdl-uQ,The Department of Modern Languages and Literatures as seen by its faculty members and students}}